Going deeper

Interview met DJ Hell

Going deeper

12-11-2013 | 18.45

Ahead of his Clone Label Night appearance, we managed to get the prolific DJ Hell to answer a few questions. The Gigolo Boss delves into name changes, Klaus Nomi and an unreleased Puff Daddy house/techno album. He also gives us a little insight into what to expect this coming Friday at Trouw. 
Hello DJ Hell. Can we still call you that? I believe you’ve dropped the honorific “DJ” from your name. Is that correct?
Hell is fine. I am a DJ, but also a producer, label-owner, publisher and collector.
Your recent Kern Mix featured an eclectic mix of new and older tracks. How do you maintain that balance between staying on the cutting edge of music and playing old favorites?
When I play in clubs, I like to present not only brand new, but never heard electronic music. I feel a modern DJ always has to show the whole spectrum and play whatever he thinks is right. I never get tired of playing cutting edge tracks, combined with some old classics. Or even music that doesn’t normally feel at home in clubs. I think we have enough crowd-pleasers around. I am influenced by the first school of Chicago house and Detroit techno, but also played punk music; so-called "Deutsche Welle" and lots of original electro music.
Can we expect a similar approach for your appearance at the Clone Label Night at Trouw?
It depends on the crowd. If they are up to it, I can go deeper and deeper. I would love to go that way.
What is your relationship with Clone? 
Clone and all their sublabels are one of the most innovative labels on this planet. They do lots of re-releases while pushing a new sound without any limits. I play lots of Clone music and they are very influential all around the world.
Your last release was a remodel and remix of Klaus Nomi’s Cold song. What were conditions that inspired you to approach this project?
It was a celebration of his art, plus he died exactly 30 years ago. He was a huge inspiration when I started DJing in the early 80s. Klaus Nomi was an outstanding singer and visionary. He was born in Bavaria like me, went to Berlin and then lived in NYC for many years. We followed the same road. 
You bring a certain style to your appearance that compliments your music and DJ sets very well. How important is this aspect to you and is there a central theme to the Hell look? 
As an artist u should take care of your performance and your look. You are in front of lots of people and they’re going to watch you. I think the typical DJ look or DJ style is pretty boring. It looks like there is only one shop in the world where they all buy their clothes.
Your label, Gigolo led the electroclash wave at the start of this millennium and gave rise to some amazing artists like Miss Kittin and Hard Ton. What is the formula for the label’s success?
When I started the label, I said: “We wanna be the beastie boys of electronic music”. When they did grand royal.
We have to ask how the Sean Combs collaboration came about for the Teufelswerk Album? 
I’ve worked on different projects with Puffy and he was a real mentor and a great inspiration for my work. We did some layout for his techno & house album but it was never released. So I asked him to put it out on my album. He agreed and even appeared in my video, Keep on Waiting.
Will there be any new Gigolo or DJ Hell tracks falling into your DJ bag for the Clone Label Night at Trouw?
Of course! I will be playing lots of unreleased new gigolo material and some unreleased Hell edits and remixes.  

Text: Mischa Mathys